Honours even after extra-time in U21 North-West Cup


Photo: @MayoGAA

They couldn’t be separated in normal time and were still level after extra-time so the U21s from Mayo and Donegal had to settle for a draw at the end of this afternoon’s North-West Cup final. The match was played in what sounded like atrocious conditions at Sligo GAA’s Centre of Excellence in Scardan and it finished 1-9 apiece after extra-time, with the score at 1-7 each at the end of normal time.

Donegal were missing a number of players who were involved in the Round 3 match between the two counties played last weekend and we had plenty of changes from then too, with Matthew Flanagan, Seamus Cunniffe, James Kelly, Sharoize Akram, Padraig Prendergast, Matthew Ruane and Liam Irwin all featuring from the start today.

With the rain spilling down from the off, we got the perfect start in the form of a point by Liam Irwin and a goal from wing-back Barry Duffy. Donegal had the next three points but Barry Duffy then extended our lead though this was clipped back to two, on a scoreline of 1-3 to 0-4, at the break.

Donegal reduced our lead to the bare minimum early in the second half but two Liam Irwin frees put us a goal clear. They nicked one back but another Liam Irwin free restored our three-point lead. When Donegal’s Eamon Martin was ordered off on two yellows with ten minutes to go and Liam Irwin pointed another free it looked like our name was on this inaugural North-West Cup.

The Ulster lads had, however, other ideas. We’d just had James Kelly dismissed on two yellows when Hugh Boyle lobbed Matthew Flanagan for an injury-time goal that gave Donegal a late, late lifeline. They made the most of it too, with John Campbell pointing a free to send the game into extra-time.

It looked like we’d missed the proverbial boat when Donegal went into a two-point lead, an advantage they held at the end of the first period of extra-time. Points in the second period of extra-time from Brian Reape and Mikey Murray got us back level and that’s how it ended.

There was, according to @MayoGAA, some talk of playing even more extra-time but the same source later reported that wiser counsel had eventually prevailed and so the destination of the cup will be decided by a replay at a date and time to be confirmed.

Match report, from a Donegal perspective, on today’s decider is here.

48 thoughts on “Honours even after extra-time in U21 North-West Cup

  1. I departed the scene on the Donegal red card, thoroughly wet and cold, thinking the job done. Can’t say, considering the conditions, that I’m sorry I missed the ending. From what I saw Mayo were definitely the better team but, as the saying goes, it’s not over until the fat lady sings or in the case of football, the ref blows and waves his arms. The ref, I thought was overly fussy given the conditions esp for what he considered overcarrying while he tolerated Donegal”s appetite for confrontation far to much.
    Anybody got results fro the Junior and intermediate semifinals? I suspect the fact that I haven’t seen anything yet does not bode well from a Mayo point of view.

  2. OK, I’m told that the Jun and Inter games are not until tomorrow so looking for results is a bit previous. Now to decide which to go to.

  3. JP, Nobody I spoke to had any info, or for Diarmuid O’Connor or Eddie Doran”s absence either. Tommy Conroy, is I think, the only other member of the 2013 minors who are available who has not appeared yet. Anybody know if he is injured?

  4. Looking at the Mayo team that started today i would said M Flanagan,D Kenny,S Cunniffe,B Duffy,S Akram,P Prendergast,V Roughneen,M Plunkett,B Reape,L Irwin will start against Leitrim in the championship come March. The likes of Coen,Hall,Loftus,O Connor are those to return and make up the strongest starting 15.

  5. The jeering from the donegal management when mayo were taking frees was disgraceful, also openly shouting their players to mouth and sledge the Mayo lads when taking frees, that’s not football lads !!

  6. Another tough competitive game will do our lads no harm at all as they gear up for the Connacht championship.

  7. Great to hear that Louisburgh’s Padraig P is back in fold after a terrible year with injury and good to see so many recognisable names staying with it a committing to the jersey

  8. Liamf – interesting stuff there about the behaviour of the Donegal management.

    All of us, management, players, fans need to be aware that others will be out to get us. We have dished out severe beatings to all the top teams in either league or championship over the past 6 years.

    They are paying us the compliment of taking us seriously and employing appropriate tactics. We need to anticipate, not react.

  9. Good god it was cold today but a good preformence non the less . No team should think they have it won and this was true for our lads today. It was a silly free to give away especially in the last few seconds and they shouldn’t of let in the goal. It was a case of we were fairly lucky to of come out of extra time with a draw because donegal had all the momentum going into extra time . Yes the ref was not at all good considering the conditions he should of been a little bit more fair to both teams, with regards to steps witch most frees were given for. Yet again Akram impressed along with yong prendergast. I’m not sure about the next match but should they think that they have it won in injury time they won’t win.

  10. Yet another game a Mayo team seemingly well in control of, were unable to close out – feck it anyway !

  11. Feck it anyway indeed Mayo McHale and if you saw the nature of their goal,and the point that came after it you de be changing your feck to fuck!
    I can’t be sure what our goalie was doin off his line by about ten yards with not a sinner near the goal line when a high hopeful ball was sent in from left wing,bounced in square and up into roof of net when goalie was still four or five strides behind!! How must he feel?
    Tha point was no less bizarre. Came from more or less same position but with a left screw on it to end up between three Mayo defenders and one Dong. four/five yds from inline and half way tween left goal post and sideline. Dong got possession somehow but was no danger. However, he managed to get in a snap
    type of a shot I’ve never seen in my life and at a v sharp angle…a kind of a cius na broige gone astray shot and poked sideways but unfort for us it ended between the posts.
    I won’t relate the incidents to past experiences. It just struck me at the time as being v strange stuff..could’nt be scripted.But have to say…a most enjoyable game and looking forward to the next meet!

  12. To be honest, it’s more than positive. Something to take from the game in terms of something learnt, experience etc, and an extra game for these lads and one where the management team can learn about their team. 5 pre season games, 3 against a good donegal side, can’t complain really!

  13. I like the below article, an interview with Ian Robertson about The Winner Effect, maybe we can learn something from it:

    (To benefit from the winner effect, you need to have an appetite for winning and for power. Winning is about dominating and some people are more comfortable dominating than others. If you don’t have an appetite for dominance, then that can actually mean that you find winning stressful. There are some sporting teams where if they are in the favourites’ position, they often underperform.)

    Like us when we get into a winning position, as we seen again today, we seem to then underperform, this is something that we have to rectify if we are to win major silverware. It is an interesting read anyway:


  14. And they were two of the three scores that gave Dong their draw…an important detail I omitted!

  15. According to the Report by the Donegal reported the lobbed ball was as a result of a turn over in the Mayo defence. This might explain why the goalie was off his line as it might not have been expecting a shot on goal. Was this the case? I am delighted to hear that S Cunniffe and P Prendergast are back and playing well again

  16. I wasn’t anywhere near the Donegal management so cannot confirm what Liamf says about their approach but, having been at last week’s match in Letterkenny, I have to say that Donegal were much more confrontational in their approach to the game. I mentioned this in my first posting about the game. It was particularly evident when Mayo were trying to take frees. In the first half Matthew Flanagan was prevented from taking a quick free, the ref indicated that the free was to be moved up and Flanagan was felled twice as he was moving up the 13 m or so. The ref booked a Donegal player for the second interference. All this from a county who spent a good part of last summer complaining about Tyrone players sledging their minors.

  17. I had meant to say in my last posting that the replay is likely to be even more confrontational than today’s if the ref shows any sign that he is prepared to tolerate that approach. Mayo players cannot be expected to quietly accept the same treatment again and it may be that some of them end up paying the price and missing the Leitrim game. I take it that there will be no more official games until that date.
    I do not know whether the linesmen today were officially appointed or, as in the old days, “one from each side”. If officially appointed they did nothing to earn their expenses, nor did the umpires, as they totally ignored off the ball stuff, and there was a fair bit of it.

  18. There were an awful lot of players behind the ball at all times throughout the game. It was typical Dong form and the only way to combat it yesterday was to do it better and Mayo succeeded admirably until….!!
    The off the ball stuff went on from the beginning before Mr Judge started the show. Irwin was pulled and dragged in front of the Dong goal in front of the two men in white…..only getting to know each other! Say no more.
    These two teams have a bit of history now behind them and I reckon the next days game will be a cracker.Mr Judge will need to live up to his name!
    As regards Dongs goal….was a turnover after our goalie played a part in a hand passing session to clear the lines and set an upfield foray in motion.Im sure he ll know about the great acreage that was left vacant in behind him!

  19. The blanket is more effective if the ref is lenient, the weather is bad and the pitch is small. All three usually dont apply in Croke Park. We’ll need chunky power and size for later in the year as we may run into similar conditions.
    The return of Stephen Coen, Diarmuid OConnor and Fionan Duffy will provide that power and size.

  20. I’m delighted that my comments about our dreadful record at closing out matches is getting an airing. Yes there have been some great wins along the way, but our inability to perfect a system of defending in the final minutes of big matches, has cost us dearly in recent years. And to those who say, a sure it’ll give us an extra match or, the team will learn from this is baloney in my view. When the match is there to be won just go and win it, end of !

  21. It’s baloney to suggest a mishap in a pre season game may contribute to the players learning. Right.

  22. Great to see Stephen Coen and Darren McHugh in good powerful form.
    This is a great boost two teams through.

  23. Well done to both Ardnaree and Hollymount/Carramore today on reaching All Ireland Finals today. Also big well done to Midwest radio on fantastic coverage as always.

  24. Would others agree Darren McHugh is a full back option if fit?
    He’s strong and old school tough. Usually never bested in any game.

  25. He’s very small for a full back! Huge step up to county level!caught some of the game on the streaming the two coens did well which is a good sign!

  26. Darren McHugh looks something around six foot. Hardly very small. Keane is six foot and Cafferkey closer to six one. But McHugh is built strong and powerful like Keane.
    Main thing for me is that in games for Hollymount and the few for Mayo at Senior/Junior he has been very consistent.

  27. I wonder has a county ever won all three grades at club level ? Although I’m not sure has junior and inter AI series been on the go that long anyway ?

  28. Well done to Ardnaree and Hollymount/Carramore, its great to see that two of our club sides have made the All-Ireland final. I also see that its two Kerry teams (both had big wins today), that they have to play in the finals so there will be nothing earned easy in those games.

    For some reason something seems to happen Mayo teams between the semi-final and the final of competitions. We must have one of the best records at the semi-final stages but then one of the worst record in finals themselves.

    Hopefully these two teams can reverse this trend, best of luck to them on Feb 6th. It would be great if both teams can play to their full potential anyway rather than underperform, as so many Mayo teams seem to do on the big day of finals. Surely to God we have to start winning some of these finals very soon.

  29. Inbetweener Thanks for the clarification on the Donegal goal. Well done to Ardnaree and Hollymount Carramore in their great achievement. Another day out in Croke Park.

  30. Sean,

    I think wondering about a triple win is a bit premature when as one of our Rossie friends has pointed out Castlebar have yet to beat Crossmaglen. Our reps in Inter and Junior also have to meet Kerry opposition which given Kerry’s record in these championships will not be an easy task. I saw Templenoe’s Killian Spillane in minor and last years Junior All Ireland [county] final and he looked a special player, almost certainly a future senior star.

    Wikipedia tells me that the All Ireland Junior and Intermediate Club started in 2004 but it then goes on to list winners from 2002. It was, I believe, the idea of Sean Kelly when he was President. Provincial junior club was in place from sometime in the 1990’s – I had a small involvement in the 1997 Connacht campaign when it was run on a round robin basis. [Parke were the Mayo champions, but who won out I do not know].

    I was at the Breffni Park game today and have to say that Hollymount Carramore were deserving winners even if their goal did have a few narrow shaves. But Darren Coen certainly proved worthy of a long look from Stephen Rochford. One of his points from a sideline ball beside the corner flag late in the fist half was a joy to see and must have done so much for morale at half time. Darren McHugh looked good too but not an intercounty full back. Corner maybe. But overall this was a team victory. They did it despite hardly winning a ball at midfield where Dan Gordon ruled the skies as he has done for Down in the past. The Downmen picked up most of the breaking ball there too. But HollyCarra won and won well!

  31. well done to both teams, now, please, for the love of sweet divine jesus, go out and win the finals. no more close calls or galant displays, just win. i will be praying hard and crossing my fingers, toes, legs, arms and anything else i can cross for these fellas to get the wins. well done, i watch the hollymount game online, they play a lovely brand with those long kick passes and the man is out in front waiting for the pass, well done.

  32. Of course Andy d , I was just wondering is all . Indeed the Mayo clubs could end up with no all Ireland’s .

    Darren coen certainly worth a look , was surprised I didn’t see his name on panel TBH.

  33. We have any amount of corner-backs. What we need is a full back. An elusive and rare animal.
    Well done to Ardnaree and Holly-Carra. Pity about clash with Mayo-Dublin in NF in their All Ireland Finals. That should not happen.

  34. Stephen Rochford referenced that Keith Higgins sustained no structural damage just severe bruising. It needs time to settle and he might be ready for the Dublin game. That is good news.

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